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Week 39: Rice Pudding Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
23/Sep/2013

A couple of months ago I made a rice pudding but it curdled slightly. I decided to freeze it until I had a chance to do something with it. I had the idea of doing some kind of cake so I looked up rice pudding cakes on the Internet but they all seemed to be more like set puddings and less like actual cakes. I decided to have a go at making up a recipe myself.

Rice Pudding Cake

I took 2 eggs, ¼ cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup of vegetable oil and mixed them together. I added the tub of slightly curdled rice pudding (approximately 300g) then added 1 cup of self raising flour. I baked it at gas mark 5 until it looked done. It was a huge improvement over the original rice pudding, which didn't have a very pleasant texture. The cake has a moist cakey/puddingy texture and a good rice pudding flavour. The photo is of the second slice I cut - the first slice got eaten very quickly.



Week 36: Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
06/Sep/2013

I have a couple of cakes to report on this week. The first was a Bounty Bar cake, based on a recipe from the River Cottage Cake handbook. A version of it has been posted here so I don't have to re-type the recipe myself. I scaled the recipe down because my tin was smaller than the suggested size in the book but I might have made a slight mistake because mine took longer to cook and went from sloppy in the middle to completely cooked and dry in a few minutes.

The resulting cake did taste good but was a bit too dry and crumbly. The cake was fairly quick and easy to make so I'll probably try it again. Next time I will stick more closely to their recipe and pay a bit more attention to the cake during baking.

The second cake was much more successful. It was inspired by the grapefruit cake from the The Great British Bake Off but was based on another from the River Cottage Cake book.

The cake part was very similar to this recipe. I didn't get much zest from the grapefruit so I added a tablespoon of my lime curd.

Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

I do like drizzle cakes (they are among my favourite cakes) and this one certainly didn't disappoint. The outside of the cake had developed a slightly crispy sugary crust and the centre had gone a bit puddingy.

I dread to think how many calories were in the cake. I should probably try to cook more new main courses but there are still so many different cake recipes I need to try.



Week 35: Cardamom Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
27/Aug/2013

Earlier this year I bought the Hairy Bikers' baking book, and this is another of their recipes. This week's recipe was described as a coffee cake in the European tradition (a cake to go with coffee, not a cake containing coffee).

I scaled their recipe down slightly to fit our baking tin but otherwise followed the book closely. I didn't want the cardamom flavour to be too overpowering so I used slightly less than they did.

alt_text

It was an easy cake to make and turned out well. There are a few more recipes in the book which I want to try next, half of them cakes, the other half savoury.



Week 33: Lemon Berry Pudding

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
16/Aug/2013

Every now and again I catch a programme on the Food Network. A couple of months ago I caught an episode of Baking with Anna Olson where she did upside down cakes. One of the recipes was Lemon Berry Saucing Cake. I decided to wait until the fruit in the garden was ripe before I gave it a go. I have managed to collect wild strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, red gooseberries and blackberries.

The dessert was surprisingly easy to make. I started by making a fairly runny batter which consisted of half a cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 1 egg yolk and 2/3 of a cup of semi-skimmed milk.

I took the egg white and whisked it until it started to form peaks. The white was actually quite runny, suggesting the egg was quite old, even though they were only bought a few days ago and still had 10 days until the 'Best Before' date.

I managed to find 4 mis-matched ramekin dishes which I buttered and coated with sugar. I put a layer of berries in the bottom of each, using different combinations of the ones I mentioned above.

Lemon Berry Saucing Cake
These were the only 2 matching ramekins. The puddings were baked at gas mark 4 for 35 minutes. The ramekins were in a bain marie to help them cook evenly.

Lemon Berry Saucing Cake
I was surprised at how well the puddings turned out. The one pictured here had mixed fruit in. The one I ate was mainly gooseberry with some blackcurrant and strawberry. The balance of sharp and sweet flavours was about right and the pudding had a good cakey texture with a good layer of sauce on top.



Week 32: False Economy Lime Curd

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
04/Aug/2013

A week or so ago I was in the supermarket and (as usual) had a rummage around the reduced and out of date fruit and veg fridge. There was a bag of limes for 30p so I decided to get them and worry about what I was going to do with them when I got home. Gin and tonic was sadly out of the question because I forgot to buy any tonic water.

I found several suitable cake recipes and ended up making some coconut and lime cupcakes. Sadly I seem to have eaten them all without taking any photographs, which is a bit poor and quite unlike me. The cakes were quite simple to make, being a basic pound cake recipe with added lime zest and juice and some grated coconut. After baking, they were sprinkled with toasted coconut and drizzled with a syrup made with lime juice and sugar.

After making the cupcakes I still had 2 limes left over so they sat in the fridge for a few days while I decided what to do with them. I thought I would have a go at making a lime curd in the microwave. It was very simple to make, a few minutes juicing the limes then 7 minutes in the microwave in 1 minute bursts.

If the lime curd was supposed to be a way of using up the limes and avoiding food wastage, it was probably a bit of a false economy. The two limes only cost me 10p but since I needed to add sugar, butter and 1 egg to the juice, the one egg alone cost me 17p so I ended up spending more money than I was saving/avoiding wasting.

Home made lime curd

The limes were fairly yellow with green patches so I shouldn't really be surprised that the curd came out much more yellow than green.

Home made lime curd

The curd was very sharp and sour. I probably needed to add a bit more sugar to the recipe but since limes vary a lot, I imagine it is quite difficult to publish a recipe which will give ideal results in all cases.



Week 27: Scone (rhymes with 'gone', not with 'phone')

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
04/Jul/2013

I haven't had much time to do any really adventurous or new cooking but I did a couple of quick desserts this week. The first was a simple scone recipe. This was made by mixing the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor then stirring in the milk. I used a variety of our shaped cutters, including duck and dinosaur.

Scones

The second was a custard tart. These were supposed to separate into a pastry style base and a custarty top during cooking but they ended up more like sweet yorkshire puddings. They tasted good but weren't really what I was expecting. This might have been because I used a yorkshire pudding tin, which was fairly shallow, instead of a deeper pie tin.

Custard Tart



Week 23: Cranberry Muffins with cream cheese frosting

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
08/Jun/2013

Cranberry Muffins with cream cheese frosting



Week 20: Bananabread and Butter Pudding

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
17/May/2013

A few weeks ago I made a couple of loaves of banana bread and froze one. This week I defrosted the second loaf and when I ate some it was a bit dry. I thought I would have a go at a bread and butter pudding.

Bananabread and Butter Pudding

I didn't butter the slices first but simply placed them in the dish and poured over a custard made from cream, milk, vanilla, a tablespoon of sugar and a couple of eggs. I cooked it for about three quarters of an hour at gas mark 4, until the custard had set.



Banana Bread revisited.

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
29/Apr/2013

I still have several tubs of mashed banana in the freezer, from when I bought a bag of over-ripe and/or bruised bananas for 8p a couple of months ago. The sourdough baking booklet has a recipe for banana bread which is made using a sourdough batter with added baking soda for extra rising. I decided to use half the amount of sugar they suggested because I was adding dried fruit instead of chopped nuts and I didn't want the bread to be too sweet.

The resulting loaf was good, very similar to the River Cottage recipe I used previously.



Week 16: Hot Cross Buns

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
14/Apr/2013

This week's new recipe is yet another from the River Cottage Bread book. I followed their recipe as closely as possible. When it came to making the cross on top, I mixed the flour and water using the given quantities but it was far too runny and impossible to use in the piping bag without it all immediately running out of the nozzle. I mixed in some extra flour to make it a bit thicker and it worker better.

Hot Cross Buns

The hot cross buns were very good when eaten fresh. When they were a couple of days old, they had started to go a bit hard and dry and needed to be toasted, but they proved to be very good that way, with a bit of butter melted into them.



Week 10: Pig Hottub Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
08/Mar/2013

We went to a birthday party today and took along a cake. This one can be considered a sequel to the Spotty Dinosaur cake from last week. The bottom tier was the spotty madeira cake. The middle tier was a sponge with lemon curd filling.

Farmyard Cake

The top tier was two small chocolate sponge cakes with chocolate buttercream, Cadbury's Finger biscuits and Fudge Fingers along the edge, with a ganache topping and icing pigs lying in the 'mud'.

Pigs in a hottub

I can't take any of the credit for this cake. Emma made it all, including the decorations.



Week 9: Spotty Dinosaur Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
28/Feb/2013

Spotty Dinosaur Cake

Spotty Dinosaur Cake

The cake was based on a madeira cake recipe. The coloured cake balls were made first, adding food colouring and baking them in a round mould designed for making 'cake pops'. The cake was assembled by pouring a layer of cake batter in the bottom of a cake tin, adding the cake balls then pouring the rest of the batter on top.



Week 7: Banana Bread

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
11/Feb/2013

I bought a large bag of slightly bruised bananas from the supermarket on my way home, for only 25p. I had already decided that I wanted to try a banana bread and was just waiting until I got hold of some cheap bananas.

Banana Bread



Sourdough Bread and Cake Day in work.

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
24/Jan/2013

My second attempt at making a loaf from the sourdough baking booklet was a Molasses and Rye loaf. I used treacle instead of molasses (which is a fair enough swap). I didn't have enough rye flour so I used a mixture of that and wholewheat.

alt_text

The end result was a good loaf which smelled slightly of treacle but didn't taste sweet or treacly.

The cookies were made because it was my turn on the Cake Day rota in work. The recipe was called Thumbprint Cookies. I filled them with either jam, lemon curd or marmalade. They seemed to go down well and there weren't any left for me to bring home.

alt_text



Two new recipes

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
11/Nov/2012

We made two new recipes today. The first was carrot cake. Emma's aunt recently gave us some apples from the tree in her garden. I ate most of them and we decided to bake something with the rest. Emma had read about using apple sauce as a replacement for vegetable oil in recipes. Last night I chopped the apples and simmered in half an inch of water until they had started to break down. I then liquidized the apples to make a smooth sauce.

We usually follow Delia Smith's recipe so I used that as the basis but replaced the oil with an equal volume of the apple sauce. I also reduced the amount of sugar from 6oz to 4oz. Delia's recipe suggests baking for 35--40 minutes but we found that it needed closer to 50 minutes.

Carrot cake with apple sauce

This evening I make tuna and chickpea burgers, based on a recipe from the BBC Good Food magazine. I used leeks instead of onions and parsley instead of coriander but apart from that I followed the recipe fairly closely. The cooked burgers had a fairly soft texture but they tasted good.

Tuna and chickpea burgers