Random food pics from 2012!

20130103-210958.jpg Stuffed rolled lamb breast

20130103-211225.jpg The finished article (excuse poor photo)

20130103-211323.jpg Lavender eggless biscuits

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20130103-211538.jpg Dauphinoise potatoes

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20130103-220034.jpg Chocolate orange buttons

20130103-211808.jpg Chicken & triple cooked chips

20130103-211956.jpg Amazing chocolate tarts from Good Food show!

20130103-212104.jpg beef bourguignon with parmesan dumplings & greens

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20130103-212455.jpg Mexican/Mayan delights!

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Chocolate Honeycomb (or Hokey Pokey) in Jars

Another of my ideas for gifts in jars for Christmas presents (overview post here) was to make cinder toffee, which is also known as honeycomb or hokey pokey.

I have attempted to make this about a year before on a general whim -it gets to bonfire time of year and I crave cinder toffee and sparklers!- and whilst it semi-worked it wasn’t quite right. The recipe I previously used had butter in it which is why I think it went slightly too buttery and wet. My attempt this year proved far more fruitful.

I followed the wonderful Nigella Lawsons’ recipe for Hokey Pokey (here) which turned out deliciously well:
Bubbly honeycomb mix! Bubbly honeycomb mix!

Once I had followed the recipe, I decided to coat mine in a mix of dark and white chocolate. After all, it works very well on Cadburys Crunchies! I started by melting dark chocolate in a bowl over another bigger bowl filled with hot water from the kettle. Once it had melted I quickly scooped it into an icing bag (I use disposable ones to save on the washing up!), snipped the end off the bag and squeezed it from a height over the honeycomb.

IMG_8536After this it was time for the white chocolate!

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I then used a sharp kitchen knife to chop the honeycomb into squares and then popped it into the jars with a pretty ribbon tied around the neck for decoration! Cute!

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Cinnamon pull-apart bread

Christmas provides me with the perfect reason (read that as excuse!) for baking. It’s far more socially acceptable to take trays of cakes to the office and to bake more decadent dishes for guests.

20121227-222522.jpg Who doesn’t adore sugar, cinnamon smeared liberally over moist warm enriched dough?

This recipe from Joy the Baker (total baking goddess for those of you who are not aware) is a doddle to create. I followed the leaving overnight process (so started it on Christmas day- geek!) and baked it ready for our boxing day guests arrival. The hardest part I found was when the dough has been cut into strips is layering it up; the dough tends to stretch. A lot. This was swiftly rectified by using a palette knife!

How scrumptious?

20121227-223237.jpg What is your favourite Christmas/festive period recipe & why? 🙂

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Raspberry Marshmallow Gooeyness!

Another offering for my Christmas gifts in jars project was to make marshmallows. Ever since I was 14 and working in my local coffee shop which served the most sumptuous hot chocolate smothered in marshmallows & cream I have had a love affair with marshmallows.

This seemed like the perfect time to try baking them. After much deliberating I decided on raspberry marshmallows, purely to use up the raspberry puree that was left over from the boyfriend making the James Martin chocolate icebox cake (he was inspired watching him create it at the BBC Good Food Show!).

I followed the recipe on the well-known NotQuiteNigella blog found here.

See below for “action-shot” of the marshmallow mixture being whipped, this was just after the raspberry mix had been added but before it swelled up in size.

IMG_8579 The recipe worked very well and created very sticky marshmallows.

Unfortunately I found that by popping them into sealed jars they got too moist and started sticking together making them look slightly unappetizing so they didn’t make their way into the Christmas Jar Project (below).  They did however make a wonderful hot chocolate with marshmallows!

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