Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dorset Cereals Good Honest Crunch


Dorset Cereals have brought out two new cereals, Good Honest Crunch Toffee & Pecans and Good Honest Crunch Strawberries & Raspberries. Both are great to eat with milk at breakfast time or just to dip your hand into for snacking.

I love Dorset Cereals muesli, and so I had to try and wean myself away from muesli in the morning, to eat a bowl of Good Honest Crunch. Not a difficult challenge though, the toffee and pecan is lovely with just the amount of crunch. I am very happy with the way they have brought the flavours together, haven't been mean with the pecans, there are plenty of clusters of cereal to crunch on, and it isn't too sweet either.

Good Honest Crunch Strawberries & Raspberries was just a little too sweet for me as a breakfast cereal, but I have enjoyed snacking on this one and it was lovely sprinkled onto natural yogurt. The dried strawberries and raspberries are wonderful with plenty of zing.

Dorset Cereals are running a competition on facebook until the 3rd of May to design a new granola. All you have to do is submit a recipe and the 10 best recipes submitted will be created by the Dorset Cereals team and then the most popular recipe will be made into a new Dorset Cereals Granola. The lucky winner will be invited to spend the day in Dorset Cereals development kitchen and you will also be provided with accommodation in their favourite country hotel. The nine runners up will each receive a case of the winning granola.

This is a wonderful opportunity for foodies so get your thinking cap on, and you never know, yours might be the winning entry. Good Luck!

Thank you Dorset Cereals.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MERINGUES


Violas from my garden were used to decorate the meringues. The flowers can be crystallised, but on this occasion I thought they looked lovely just as nature intended them to be.

In past blog postings I have used flowers to decorate cupcakes and cakes and I always think just how pretty they look.

These filled meringues need to be eaten as soon as possible after assembling but the meringue shells can be kept for a week in an airtight tin.

Makes: 12 to 15 Sandwiches

You will need
: a large, or two small baking trays, lined with baking paper.

2 egg whites, 100g caster sugar, food colouring, 300ml whipping cream.

1. Preheat the oven to 110°C, 100°C fan, gas ¼. Put the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 10 minutes until the mixture is smooth, glossy and stands in firm peaks.
2. Whisk in the food colouring. Put the mixture into a piping bag and pipe rounds about the size of a walnut onto baking trays. Or alternatively, spoon walnut size blobs of meringue onto the lined baking tray.
3. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meringues are dry and firm. For drier meringues, switch off the oven and leave the meringues to cool inside.
4. Sandwich the meringues together with whipped cream and decorate with flowers.
5. The filled meringues will need to be served within two hours.

CHOCOLATE FRIDGE CAKE


Chocolate Fridge Cake is usually made with melted chocolate but this recipe uses cocoa powder. There are only a few ingredients used, and to get the best out of this rich cake, use good quality cocoa powder. The cake will last well in an airtight tub stored in the fridge.

The fridge cake is very rich and you only need a small piece. If you have lots of people to feed and not much time, this cake will go a long way.

It's best if the tin is lined with either greaseproof paper or cling wrap to help you lift the cake out of the tin. I used a 20cm x 20cm baking tin lined with overhanging cling wrap.

You will need:

200g unsalted butter, 100ml golden syrup, 50g cocoa powder, 400g digestive biscuits (broken into small chunks), 100g raisins (optional).

1. Place the butter, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a large saucepan over a medium heat and melt until smooth, stirring occasionally.
2. Put the biscuit chunks and raisins in a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over, mix well to combine the ingredients.
3. Press the mixture into the baking tin and using a spoon to flatten. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then a plate. Top with jam jars to apply pressure on the cake. Leave to cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours. Store in the fridge.
4. Cut into small slices to serve and dust with icing sugar, if you like.

The premium organic cocoa powder used in this recipe was supplied by Hotel Chocolat and is intense, dark and rich. It can be used to make hot chocolate or used in baking and cooking.

Thank you Hotel Chocolat!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

HONEYCOMB


Honeycomb is ridiculously easy to make, so why have I never made it before? Perhaps Lorraine Pascale, with her easy to watch television programmes, has given me some renewed inspiration.

Yep, it's calorific, but then most good things are. I have stored mine in a ziplock bag (no expense spared) and it's definitely a keeper. Lorraine's recipe is different from most because she uses butter in the recipe. You can also crumble the honeycomb and sprinkle over vanilla ice cream or even as a decoration on cupcakes. This honeycomb has a lovely buttery caramel taste, it looks beautiful and is very moreish!

The recipe is taken from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale, a book for both the new baker and those of us looking for some baking inspiration.

A great collection of both sweet and savoury recipes, including old favourites such as Sticky Toffee Pudding and Jam Roly Poly to Omelette Arnold Bennett and Chicken Pies. New favourites include Red Velvet Cake, White Chocolate Panacotta and beautiful Macaroons.

Here is the link to the Honeycomb recipe on the BBC website.

Ryvita Golden Rye and Black Pepper Crackers


Ryvita and crackers for cheese? Well, I wasn't sure either and when I was asked if I would try them and give my honest opinion, I thought why not.

A wonderful hamper arrived in a red box, beautifully presented with Double Gloucester cheese, Cranberry Cheese, Cropwell Bishop Stilton, Chutney, Golden Rye and Black Pepper Ryvita Crackers and even a cheeseboard to present them on.

These crackers are made for any cheese and are crisp, light, low fat and high in fibre. Still with me? They are made with olive oil, no artificial colours or flavours and suitable for vegetarians.

My husband always complains that the majority of biscuits for cheese just don't, in his opinion, go with cheese. I sat in silence listening to him crunch (yes these crackers are wonderfully crunchy) into the cheese topped crackers and he said the golden rye crackers would go with the majority of cheeses, and the black pepper crackers had just the right amount of heat. We served ours with apple, apricots and walnuts - simply delicious.

You can find Ryvita Crunch on Facebook.

Thank you James.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

TOBLERONE SWEET


This recipe is adored by my family and friends and is the most talked about dessert that I have ever made. I haven't made it since my children were small, and I also used to make it for good friends of mine when they brought their daughter with them for dinner. Their daughter even mentioned it to me on her wedding day and said can we meet up some time to eat Toblerone Sweet!

I wasn't sure if we would still enjoy this dessert, as you move on through life your tastes change, and I didn't want to spoil fond memories. I'm delighted to say though this dessert is still wonderful.

Please note this recipe contains raw eggs.

You will need: Lots of bowls!

1 x 200g Toblerone, ½ pint double or whipping cream, 3 eggs, 8-10 teaspoons hot water.

1. Grate 2 teaspoons Toblerone for decoration.
2. Melt the rest of the Toblerone gently in a basin over hot (not boiling water).
3. Whip the cream lightly.
4. Separate the eggs. Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry.
5. Whip the cream lightly in a large bowl.
6. Add the egg yolks gradually to the cooled chocolate, then mix in 8-10 teaspoons warm water, so that the chocolate is runny.
7. Fold the egg whites into the cream. Add the chocolate mix. Fold in from the bottom of the bowl, be careful mixture does not curdle.
8. Pour mixture into either a 1 pint serving dish or individual glasses. Decorate with the grated Toblerone. Leave to set covered in the fridge.

Toblerone have just launched a new website where you can enter The Toblerone Challenge until 31/04/11. You never know you might just be chosen to be part of Toblerone's advertising campaign.

Thank you Jen.

Finish QuantuMatic £5 Coupon


You can now print off a £5 coupon on the Finish QuantuMatic micro site and use this towards the cost of trying the QuantuMatic for yourself.

If you have been following my blog, you will have seen me trialling and posting about Finish QuantuMatic.

On the micro site you can see the other juror's who also took part in the trial and read their comments too. We all put the QuantuMatic through its paces for 12 washes and gave it some tough challenges. The shine and cleaning from the product was amazing.


The team at Finish scoured the UK looking for 10 house-proud people to become part of The Finish QuantuMatic Trial.


The photographer was patient, even when I said I had ran out of smiles. It was a pleasure working with the PR company too, they made sure everything ran smoothly, answering any questions by return and we even had a few laughs along the way. Thanks to them I have been introduced to Finish QuantuMatic which will be a very good friend to my dishwasher and me!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

BANANA BLUEBERRY CAKES


This recipe comes from my well used copy of Australian Women's Weekly Home Baked. There are plenty of recipes in this book for cakes, muffins, pastries and biscuits, such as Orange Poppy Seed Syrup Cake, Chocolate Butterscotch Cake and Hummingbird Cake.


An independent coffee shop near to where I live, make lots of cakes from this book, and there is nothing nicer than to go in for coffee and cake, knowing I recognize the cakes from this book. The cake lady, as I call her, always loves to discuss the recipes with me. The downside is, lots of the recipes are cafe size cakes, but they can easily be frozen in slices for another day.

You will need that last over-ripe banana from the fruit bowl for this recipe. These taste delicious warm and served with a dollop of whipping cream.

You will need:

125g butter, 125ml milk, 2 eggs, 200g caster sugar, ½ cup mashed banana, 225g self raising flour, 75g frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
2. Place the butter and milk in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter melts - cool.
3. Beat eggs with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until dissolved between additions, stir in the banana. Fold in the sifted flour and cooled butter mixture, in two batches.
4. Divide mixture between the muffin cases, only fill three-quarters full.
5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes , remove from the oven, press the frozen blueberries into the tops of the cakes. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Craft Easter 2011

Chocolate Craft, The Alresford Chocolate Company, based in Hampshire have kindly sent to me a Tube of 6 Hand Decorated, smooth praline filled mini eggs as an 'Easter Taster'.There are Easter Gifts for children, including hand decorated Easter lollies or you can have a personalised giant Easter lolly. For the grownups there are sophisticated Easter eggs including a Small Dark Striped Egg, a Giant White Striped Egg or a Giant Marbled Egg. There is also free delivery on all Easter purchases above £10 in value. Please click here for a list of stockists.

Fresh Hampshire Cream and natural ingredients are used to make their ganache fillings and there are no artificial colours or flavours. That's why these chocolates taste as good as they look!


A new venture, Chocolate Craft at Home, is a fun idea where you can host a party in your own home and buy luxury Chocolate Craft chocolates, professional chocolate making equipment, couverture and coatings, fruits and nuts, essential oils and even the packaging. Or, how about becoming a Chocolate Craft at home consultant?


Thank you David and all at Chocolate Craft.
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