White Chocolate Blondies

Making ‘Blondies’ have been on my list to make as I wanted to bake a sweet treat for our picnics. We have been lucky recently as the weather has been quite warm for us so I wanted to make something that wouldn’t melt easily!

I would describe ‘Blondies’ like a cake/brownie! The texture is thicker than a brownie like a cake and inside is still soft which is like a brownie! You have to try out the recipe to see what I mean! So, what’s the difference between a blondie and brownie then? Blondie is made without chocolate being the main ingredient. Brownies are made with chocolate or cocoa powder. The typical blondie is made with white chocolate chips but you can add other ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits or milk/dark chocolate chips etc or simply have it plain!

This recipe was really simple, I think it took longer to measure out all the the ingredients than to actually make it! This recipe was from Deliciously Sprinkled blog and the instructions are very clear, I love it with pictures as well. I had to convert some of the measurements for the ingredients as she used ‘Cups’ as I normally weigh my ingredients in ‘Grams’. Please find below the converted version for your reference and I have tweaked the sugar intake as it is pretty sweet already with the white chocolate chips!

Ingredients: 280g plain flour, 1 x tsp of bicarbonate of soda, half tsp of salt, 170g soft butter, 80g granulated sugar, 80g light brown sugar, 1 x tbsp vanilla extract, 2 x eggs and 200g white chocolate chips.

Method:

  1. Preheat over to GM 4 and line your square baking tin with baking paper. Whisk the dry ingredients – flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the eggs one by one and mix altogether in your mixer.
  3. Add the flour until the mixture is just combined. Don’t over mix it because the texture would be heavy. Stir your chocolate chips or any other flavourings.
  4. Press into your tin and spread evenly. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until it looks golden at the top. The texture should be abit hard at the top and slightly gooey inside. Then, leave to cool in the tin and slice it up and enjoy!

Coconut Pound Loaf Cake

I had some left over coconut milk so I looked up at some recipes and found this blog called LoveFoodies which has a Coconut Pound Loaf Cake. I don’t really use coconut in baking as the kids don’t like it but i didn’t want to waste the coconut milk! There will be more for me and my hubby! 🙂

I had most of the ingredients at home but just needed to buy the desiccated coconut. Really easy to make and the cake is delicious as it is very moist! Very Yummy! :). I have tweaked the original recipe as i didn’t want to use too much sugar!

Ingredients: 175g soft butter, 175ml coconut milk, 200g caster sugar, 3 x eggs beaten, 225g plain flour, 1 and half tsp baking powder, half tsp of salt, 1 x tsp vanilla extract and 6 x tbsp desiccated coconut.

For the topping: 4 x tbsp coconut milk – i added a table spoon of icing sugar, 1 – 2 tbsp desiccated coconut.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven GM3 and line a loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar until a light and pale colour.
  2. Add the eggs in slowly, then add the coconut milk and half the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, on a slow speed on your mixer. Once combined, add the desiccated coconut and the rest of the flour.
  3. Transfer to the loaf tin and bake for an hour. Check with a skewer and if it comes out clean, then is it ready. I probably baked my cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, i wanted the top to be nice and golden.
  4. Leave the cake in the tin to cool. Whilst the cake is still hot, use a skewer to prick holes on top of the cake and then pour the coconut milk over. Then, to finish the cake, sprinkle with some desiccated coconut on top and leave to cool. Enjoy your cake with a cup of tea! 🙂

May 21 Veg Dish – Creamy coconut vegetable Karahi

It’s National Vegetarian Week this week so I thought it would be good time to learn a new vegetarian dish for this month. I saw a recipe in Lidl Summer leaflet which was a Creamy Coconut and vegetable Karahi. I have never really explored cooking Indian dishes, I have only made one Chicken Curry from scratch and that was using my friend’s recipe but many years ago! I guess, because i am not a huge fan of chillies and ‘hotness’ and the spices are really strong! I tend to buy the jarred sauces and add the meat in or get a takeaway! 🙂

This recipe seemed quite straight forward, it was just alot of cutting and chopping up all the vegetables. I eased off the chillies mixture because i don’t like it so hot! I am glad that i used a big pan for this, at one point when i tipped all the vegetables in, it wasn’t going to fit!! So, please make sure you have a big pan or you can cook it in 2 batches when making this!

Ingredients – 4 x tbsp oil, 2 x onions sliced, 2 x medium potatoes – peeled and chopped (I used a small bag of baby potatoes), 2 x carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 small aubergine chopped, 1 courgette chopped, 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper chopped, 250g frozen peas, 2 tsp easy chilli, 4 x tsp chilli flakes, 2 tsp easy garlic, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tomato diced, 5 x tbsp coconut milk, 4 x spring onions, 1 handful chopped coriander and some salt to season.

Method:

  1. Blitz the tinned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and leave it aside.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until soft, add the potatoes and carrots and fry for 5 – 8 minutes.
  3. Tip all the other vegetables and all your spices to your liking and season.
  4. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are par-cooked but not mushy. Make sure your potatoes are cooked.
  5. To finish the curry, add the add the tomatoes into the vegetable mix and cook for 2 – 3 minutes before stirring in the coconut milk. Simmer for approx 5 minutes, serve with rice and garnish the dish with chopped coriander.

I would definitely make this again although my hubby said, ‘why don’t you add some meat to it next time!!’ I think i would prefer this dish without the meat.

With the left over coconut milk, i used this to make a coconut pound loaf cake which i will share this with you next week! 🙂

April 21 Veg Dish – Feta Pasta!

My husband, Dan has got an account on TikTok – @running2resonate – he loves to run so please feel free to look him up and he is on insta aswell! ! I am not on this platform but he showed me a video clip using Feta cheese as everyone seems to be posting about it. I watched the video and thought, wow, that’s incredibly easy and just by chance, I have got a feta cheese block in my fridge! lol!

So, for this month’s vegetarian dish, I decided to join in the popular feta cheese pasta craze!! lol! I was really surprise as to how little ingredients you need to make this but you can always add other vegetables and herbs to it according to your preference. I couldn’t eat just pasta with tomatoes plus I don’t think Dan would be too satisfied with this so I added some spinach to it aswell and served it with garlic bread!

Ingredients: Full fat feta cheese block, a box of small tomatoes – can be mixed, pasta, garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes and mixed herbs. I included half a bag of spinach and a bunch of basil leaves.

Method: Pre heat the oven to GM6 and use a big oven dish. Put the tomatoes in and then add the feta cheese block in the middle of the dish, sprinkle your herbs, garlic and drizzle some olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes or so until the cheese looks quite golden and the tomatoes are bursting.

As your dish is in the oven baking, cook your pasta and reserve some of the water for the sauce. Once your feta cheese is ready, add your pasta and your spinach and just mix everything together. If it is too dry, then add some of the water from your pasta. Lastly, add some basil leaves to garnish! And that’s it! So simple and an easy quick dinner. I will definitely be cooking this again and add different vegetables to it like courgettes or mushrooms etc.

Baked Oreo Cheesecake

I normally make a chilled oreo cheesecake and it has been a couple of years since I have made a BAKED cheesecake so I found this recipe online from Vintage Kitchen. Her recipe is so easy to follow and she includes a lot of tips and a video of how to bake this. I made this for our Xmas dinner dessert, it was so tasty and yummy!

I was following her recipe, you can’t really see my layers as I poked the biscuits on top too far down so it was mixed within the cheesecake. With this recipe, i didn’t use the full amount of 900g cream cheese as i only had 2 packs which makes the total of 520g and the mixture was fine. Also, I didn’t make the ganache as I thought the cheesecake would be sweet enough!

I really like Paula’s blog as the layout is clear, she has lots of beautiful pictures and videos so you can copy the method. I am sure that I will make something else again from her blog!

March 21 Veg Dish – Stuffed Peppers!

I always wanted to make stuffed peppers but thought it would be a really fiddley process! In fact, it wasn’t too bad! We had some left over rice from dinner and I had alot of vegetables in my fridge and thought I would give it a go for stuffed peppers. I looked up online for recipe suggestions but I was either missing one or two ingredients from the list so I decided to make my own using a combination of all the recipes that I have seen!

First, I cut the peppers in half and drizzle some oil and roasted them in the oven for half an hour or so at GM6. Then, I cut up the mushrooms, onions, garlic, courgettes and tomatoes and fried them with the rice, garlic and oil. It looked dry, so I added some tomatoe puree and chilli flakes and season the whole mixture. Once all cooked, I used a spoon to stuff all the peppers and added abit of grated cheese on top and put them all back in the oven again for 20 minutes at GM6.

I wasn’t sure how filling it was going to be and that’s why we had them with some salmon. I think next time, we would just have it as it is because they were really filling to eat only 1 of the peppers! 🙂 We were being too greedy!!

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

It was Mother’s Day last Sunday, and my mum loves a good old classic Victoria sponge cake! One of my favourite baker is Jo Wheatley and I always use her recipe from her book – A Passion for Baking as it never fails! The boys helped weighed all the ingredients and I just used my kitchen aid to mix it altogether. Simple! 🙂 Then, the boys decorated the cake with jam and buttercream and chocolate on top. They kept licking all the buttercream from the bowl! lol! I personally prefer this sponge with buttercream in addition to the jam because it adds abit of sweetness and it looks pretty! 🙂

Ingredients: Cake – 200g Self Raising Flour, 1 x tsp baking powder, 200g caster sugar, 200g soft butter, 4 x eggs and 1 x egg yolk beaten, 1 x tsp vanilla extract. For the Filling, jam – enough to spread the bottom of the cake and buttercream which is made of 500g icing sugar, 125g soft butter, 1 x tsp vanilla extract and 2 x tbsp of milk depending on your mixture.

Method:

Preheat oven to GM4, butter and line each the base of each cake tin. I normally used the baking paper that are already cut into circles which you can buy from Lakelands. This uses the ‘all in one’ method where you just tip all the ingredients into your mixture until it is smooth!

Divide the batter evenly a use a palette knife to smooth it over at the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden and well risen. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the cakes out of the tin, peel off the parchment and leave to cool on wire cooling racks. I tend to leave it out for 5 minutes or so before taking them out.

For the decoration, turn 1 of the cake upside down and spread the jam and buttercream. It’s up to you which one you spread first as it doesn’t matter the order as it still taste delicious! I thought, i had a chocolate writing pen in my cupboards but i didn’t so i used an icing pen to write out the text and the boys did the filling and decorated the cake with chocolate sprinkles on top. Hundred and thousands would look pretty on top of the buttercream but i didn’t have any!

I think i need to restock my cupboards with decorations etc as i haven’t really been to the shops when the boys are being home schooled! Now, i have finally got freedom as the boys are back in school and they are very happy! 🙂 Hope you all had a wonderful mother’s day! 🙂

Nutella Biscuits

For my February’s half term bake with the kids, we decided to make some Nutella biscuits as you only need a few ingredients. I saw this recipe from the Bigger Bolder Baking blog which seemed easy to follow and you only need 3 ingredients! My older son, Dee loves Nutella so he was super excited to make this but Gray didn’t want to touch it! He doesn’t like to get his hands messy especially when it’s chocolatey! I only let Dee have Nutella toast 3 x times a week or otherwise he would have it everyday for brekkie! 🙂

Pre heat the over to GM4. You will need a cup of Plain Flour (150g), a cup of Nutella (240g) and 1 egg. Mix it altogether, if it is too dry, you can add some more Nutella to the mixture. Roll them into small balls and put them on the baking tray and flatten them slightly at the top. Bake them for 8 – 10 minutes and let it cool for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a baking rack. I over baked our cookies as they turned out quite crunchy so next time, I won’t leave it so long in the oven as it still looked abit raw after 10 minutes but maybe when it cools down, they will harden. I think from this batch, we made about 20 cookies! Enjoy as we all did! 🙂

CNY Bake – Walnut Cookies!

Chinese New Year – Bull started on the 12th February and normally last 16 days. My mum normally makes the traditional ‘Nian Gao’ but she didn’t feel like making it this year because we couldn’t celebrate with all of our families due to the UK lockdown. I wanted to bake something for CNY so I made some ‘Walnut cookies’ from Rasa Malaysia’s Blog, it has been awhile since I have been to her blog as I used to receive her email newsletters but maybe when the GDPR kicked it, I forgot to opt in again! Normally, I would make peanut cookies but the boys are allergic to peanuts so I tend not to use them in baking or cooking anymore just to be on the safe side. Luckily, it is not too serious because if they do touch it or eaten peanuts by accident, their mouth would be abit swollen and they would develop hives which would be itchy, but I would just need to give them some Piriton medicine and they will be fine! 🙂

These cookies are so easy to me and most of the ingredients, you should have already got in your store cupboards. The dough is very soft so when you roll it into balls, it gets quite crumbly, but you will just need to roll it more and eventually, the texture would be smooth! I did weigh each ball in the end because when i was doing it free hand, it was like the size of a golf ball! Lol!

In the end, one batch of this recipe makes 30 cookies. They were super delicious, very nice crumbly melt in the mouth texture! My mum was well impressed as she mentioned that it could’ve been brought from a Chinese bakery shop!! 🙂

Feb 21 Veg Dish – Pancake Day – Korean Side Dishes

Happy Pancake Day! As it’s Pancake Day, I thought I would write up the recipe for the Kimchi Pancakes and Cucumber Salad for my vegetarian February dish! 🙂 Last year back in February, I went to a Korean Cooking course and loved it! I leant a couple of dishes and thought I would try making some of the side dishes by myself. I love attending live cooking lessons and meeting new people in the classes. Also, the teacher gives you great cooking/baking tips and you learn so much rather than through a virtual experience. Hopefully, when the COVID-19 situation calms down and we can be more social and events can take place, I would love to attend more lessons to gain more cooking/baking skills. At that moment, i have got so many gift experience vouchers that I am unable to use due to all the lockdown and restrictions we had last year so hopefully later on the year, we are able to use them!

I made two sides: Kimchi Pancake – Kimchi Jeon and Cucumber Salad – Oyee Muchim. Both of these are very simple to make and doesn’t take long to prepare! The recipes are using basic ingredients that you can find in your store cupboard, the only thing that you need to buy is the Kimchi which can be found easily in the World Food section in the grocery stores. I am pleased to say that both dishes were delicious and flavorsome and it turned out really well!

Kimchi Pancake ingredients – Half cup chopped kimchi, half cup chopped spring onions, half cup batter (made of 1/3 plain flour, 1/3 corn flour, 1/3 panko breadcrumbs), 1x tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 sugar, half cup of cold water and 1x tbsp vegetable oil. You might want to have a sprinkle of sesame seeds to finish on top.

Dipping Sauce – Mix 1x tsp of soy sauce, 1 x tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1x tsp spring onion and 1/4 tsp sugar.

Method: Put in and mix all the ingredients in a bowl except the oil. Heat the oil in pan, once well heated, pour and spread the mixture. Press thin and make a round shape and flip it over when the bottom is well cooked. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve with the dipping sauce.

Cucumber Salad ingredients – Half a cucumber, 1x tsp soya sauce, 1/2x tsp sesame seed oil, 1/4x tsp sesame seeds, 1/2xtsp chilli powder (you can add more chilli if you like it hot), 1/2x tsp minced garlic and 1/2x tsp chopped spring onions.

Method: Cut the cucumber into half moon shape, 5mm wide and put into a bowl. Mix everything together except for the sesame seeds as you want to add this at the end when you are serving your dish. It is best to make it in advance so that you can chill this in the fridge and for the cucumbers to marinade. You can always add more to the marinade so just taste it and see what you need to make it delicious! 🙂