Are you alright there, Sharon?

Sharon fruit is what I want to talk about today. Mic’s colleague Sharon lent us season 3 of Love/Hate (I know we’re behind, please don’t judge). So I wanted to make her a lil thank you treat. I was down in lidl and what do I see but a Sharon fruit aka a persimmon.

??????????

Persimmon

Sharon fruit is a variety of Persimmon. It gets its name from Israel, where it is extensively grown. A small glowing orange fruit with a waxy skin, its quite hard when you buy them, like an apple but let them soften a bit and yummy yummy. Today I was using mine while it was still tart.

A roulade is my go-to bake. Its so easy but people always love it, just whisk it and fill it, its like the fast food of the baking world. There’s only 2 ingredients  for the main roulade. Its the filling where you have all the fun, like a mans wallet its whats in the inside that counts.

Ingredients

225g of caster sugar

4 egg whites

The makey bit

Set your oven to 180 and line a baking sheet with foil, let the foil come up about an inch at the edges as the meringue will rise up a bit. Now spread some oil over your tray so it doesn’t stick.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then pour in the sugar and whisk until it forms stiff peaks. a little test to see if its ready, is if you turn the bowl upside down it doesn’t drip.

Word of advice- your bowl and whisk should be spotless, if any egg yolk or oil gets into mixture it wont stiffen for you.

Now spread your mixture out onto the tray and cook for 10-15 mins until it is slightly golden outside, it should feel a little hard to touch but not rock solid. If its too dry it won’t roll up. Let it cool while you prepare a filling.

Now for the filling, you can use whipped cream, ice cream, marshmallow, fresh fruit. the world is your meringue oyster.

For this roulade I whipped up some cream and added thinly sliced strawberries and sharon fruit.

Once your meringue is cool, you can do the rolling bit. spread your filling over the base and using your tin foil slowly roll it up like a big sausage.

these don’t keep too long so devour on he same day…

Advertisements

Courgette Bread

This is a yummy cake style bread, kind of like a tea bread. Whenever I offer people a bit of courgette bread they look at me I have two heads. But slather on some butter and they scoff it up like the greedy lil pigs they are… Here’s how ya do it

Courgette the cucumbers cool cousin bread!

Courgette the cucumbers cool cousin bread!

Ingredients

14 ounces plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

11 ounces caster sugar

3 1/2 ounces of demerara sugar

3 large  eggs, beaten

200ml sunflower oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

13 ounces of grated courgettes, with the skin left on

The How-to bit

Pre-heat the oven to 160 (150 if fan). Grease and flour two 9 X 5 inch loaf tins.

Sift the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a large bowl. mix in both sugars then beat the eggs, sunflower oil and vanilla extract together.

Stir the egg mixture and grated courgettes into the dry mixture, mixing until well combined.

Divide between the two prepared loaf tins.

Bake in the heated oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaves comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes or so before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.

DSC_0074

This loaf lasts for about 10 days if its let, normally it goes in about two days in this house. Ceri & Mic love it..

Hope you do too

Nikki xxx

Eezy Peezy Choccy Cake

523208_10151064438428106_2091974451_n

This is a popular cake in our house, its so easy to make and who doesnt like chocolate cake?

Ingredients

For the yummy spongey cake bit

125 g dark chocolate

3 tbsp milk

150 g butter, at room temperature

150 g caster sugar

3 eggs

200 g plain flour

1 tbsp  cocoa powder (i use cadburys drinking choc)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

cocoa powder or icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

 

For the chocolate butter icing bit

75 g butter, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

175 g icing sugar

1 tbsp  cocoa powder

 

This is how we do it (this is how we do it)

Preheat the oven to 180 (160 if fan oven)/gas 4. Butter and flour the sides of two 20cm sandwich tins

Place the chocolate and the milk in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of  simmering water and heat until the chocolate has melted. or if your tight for time put in the microwave and heat for 10 secs and stir until it has all melted. Be careful not to heat too much, it can easily burn.  Set aside to cool for a bit.

Beat the butter until very soft then add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the melted chocolate.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda, and fold in gently to mix. Again use figures of 8 when you stir, if you over mix sponge it doesn’t come out fluffy and everyone will hate you*

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes before turning them out of their tins  to cool.

For the chocolate butter icing: beat the butter and the vanilla extract until very soft. Then gradually sift in the icing sugar and the cocoa powder, beating all the time, until it is all added. Continue to beat until very soft, then whisk the mixture until it is light and fluffy.

Now the fun bit, sandwich the two layers together. Again I use jam in the middle but I think its just habit, I’m afraid to stop now. Decorate how you wish but I’d recommend strawberries….

Enjoy, Nikki xxx

Rosewater and Pomegranate

On Oct 29th, I hosted a Pink Party in my house to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research935519_10151773176028106_1663328167_n. The biggest success of the night was actually a Cake! I made a rosewater sponge with a royal icing and pomegranate topping. Friends and family have been on to me constantly to put up the recipe so here it is!

Cooking takes approx. 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 90 ml water
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 140 g cream flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp of rosewater
  • liquid food colouring

Icing

  • packet of royal icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of water
  • 1 pomegranate

2x sandwich tins

Step by step

Heat oven to 180 (160 if fan)

Beat the egg yolks and sugar for two minutes, then add the water and beat for approx. 10mins or until the mixture is firm and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon or spatula. Make a figure of 8 when you stir. If you over mix it you will get a flat dry sponge.

In a separate bowl – which must be spotlessly clean – beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold it into the cake mixture gently, again using a metal spoon or spatula. Add the rosewater now while you fold. Now this is where I add a little food colouring. On the night of the party I made a mistake, by rights you should only add liquid colouring with a toothpick a little at a time but I spilled mine into the bowl by mistake so it must have been half a tsp that went in. I don’t know if it affected the taste. I’ll find out next time!

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20mins or until the sponges are just set in the centre. Remove from their tins and leave to cool on a wire rack. The sponges will be quite puffy and sticky, so handle with care!

Now make up your icing, I cheat and use a packet of royal icing sugar I buy from tescos, just pop it in a clean bowl add 4 tbsp of water and mix with your hand whisk. It should be fluffy and thick for spreading.

Once they are cool you can add your icing, I always put jam over my sponge before I ice them. Habit more then anything. So spread jam over one of your sponge layers then top with fresh fruit ( raspberries, cherries, strawberries go well with the rosewater)

Spread some icing on your other layer of sponge and sandwich them together, now ice all over your cake, don’t worry about design. Taste is more important to me. Once its well covered, sprinkle on some pomegranate seeds for extra yummy crunch.

1415198_10152006194272491_208208000_o

All thats left to do is devour, I may rename this cake “The Silencer” as my Cousin Yvonne was so busy eating she let her husband Alan talk for the first time in years…  Please shut him back up now xxx