Tag Archives: bbc

Simple Simnel Cake

Simnel cake is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake, covered in marzipan, and eaten during Lent or at Easter. They have been around since mediaeval times, and were originally a Mothering Sunday tradition, when daughters would make one to be taken home to their mothers.

This Gluten Free version was made by my girlfriend for my mum for Mother’s Day and is based upon Mary Berry’s version from the BBC Recipe site.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
175g/6oz Light Muscavado Sugar
175g/6oz Butter, softened
175g/6oz Self Raising Flour
3 Large Eggs
25g/1oz Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Milk
100g/4oz Sultanas
100g/4oz Cherries, quartered, washed, and dried
100g/4oz Dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
1 tsp Mixed Spice
2 tsp Ground Ginger
To serve:
450g/1lb Golden Marzipan
3 tbsp Apricot Jam
1 Egg, beaten

Preheat oven 160C/320F/Gas 3.

1 Grease and line the base and sides of an 20cm/8in deep, round cake tin with baking parchment.

2 Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

3 Take one third of the marzipan and roll into a circle the same size as the cake tin, place the circle on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and level the surface.

4 Bake for about one and three-quarter to two hours or until golden brown and firm in the middle. If toward the end of the cooking time the cake is getting too brown, loosely cover with a piece of foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning onto a cooling rack.

5 When the cake is cool. Brush the top with the apricot jam (warmed). Roll out half the remaining marzipan to the size of the cake and sit it on the top. Crimp the edges of the marzipan and make a lattice pattern in the centre of the marzipan using a sharp knife. Make 11 even sized balls from the remaining marzipan and arrange around the edge.

6 Brush with beaten egg and glaze under a hot grill for about five minutes, turning the cake round so it browns evenly, so the marzipan is tinged brown all over. (You can also do this with a blow torch if preferred).

Decorate with edible flowers.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Thai Green Prawn Curry

Love Thai food? Why not try this delicious Thai Green Prawn Curry. Having recently blogged about several Indian curries, I wanted to try something a bit different and just as tasty. This recipe is an amalgamation of several recipes I have found on the internet and from the back of the curry paste jar itself.

It is very easy to cook and a suprisingly light meal too compared to other curries.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
400ml Can Coconut Milk
2 tsp Sugar
400g bag Tiger Prawns
100g baby Spinach Leaves or Stir Fry vegetables
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce

1 Heat 1tbsp of oil in a saucepan and add 2-3 tablespoons of the curry paste and stir in.

2 Add the coconut milk and sugar to the paste, stir in and bring to the boil.

3 Turn down the heat slightly and simmer the curry for 5-7 minutes to reduce the consistency.

3 Add the prawns and stir for 3-5 minutes.

4 Then add the lime juice and fish sauce and let it simmer for a few more minutes.

4 Add some spinach or stir fry vegetables to the curry and cook it through until it has wilted.

Serve with Thai sticky rice.

Enjoy!

For a vegetarian alternative, replace the prawns with 2 peeled sweet potatoes.

Venison Curry with Sweet Potato

As it is National Curry Week (22-28 November 2009), I thought I would have a go at making a seasonal curry.

Having a Venison Steak in the fridge, I thought that it would be ideal as the basis to my curry. So I set about looking for a decent recipe and came across the following from the BBC Food Site which I adapted to my own tastes…

Vension Curry with Sweet Potato.

It was very easy to prepare and cook, and with the meat being so lean, it meant that it tasted very tender and full of flavour. If you want to try something other than beef or lamb in a curry, I highly recommend giving venison a go.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
150g/ 5½oz Venison diced
1 tbsp Garam Masala or medium curry powder
1 tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Cumin seeds
2 Bay leaves
Pinch Chilli flakes
50g/ 1¾oz Sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 Baby leeks, chopped
4 tbsp Red wine
1 Lime, juice only

1 For the curry, heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a high heat, add the venison and fry for two minutes.

2 Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves and chilli flakes and cook for a further three minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

3 In the frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and add the sweet potato and leeks. Cover with a lid and cook for five minutes.

4 Add the venison back to the sweet potato and leeks and cook for three minutes.

5 Add the red wine and lime juice and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.

6 To finish, stir some coriander into the curry and for an extra twist, add a spoonful of Greek yoghurt on top and garnish with more coriander.

Serve with some pilau rice.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato on Foodista

Vegetable Balti

DSCF1440

While cooking my Chicken Korma recipe, I thought I would make my life a little more fun (or should that be difficult) by making a second curry dish for the first time too, on our curry night. This is one of my girlfriends’ favourite currys, so had a search online and came across this Vegetable Balti Curry recipe on the BBC Good Food site. I knew she would be happy when telling her it would be high in fibre and vitamins, while low in fat and hopefully very tasty!

This recipe sounded perfect, though I wish I could have made the paste for this as well as the Korma! Instead, I had to get a jar of Patak’s Balti curry paste which I had never used before, but fingers crossed was hoping would do the job ok.

After getting all the ingredients for the Korma ready and having made the Korma paste, I set about peeling, chopping and cutting all the veg needed for this dish. I didn’t use all the same veg as mentioned on the Good Food site but used what I had in my vegetable racks, which was close enough! My only major change was using parsnips instead of turnips and only using half the amount of butternut squash and making up the rest, using some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up.

I found this such a simple recipe to make and was really glad I could leave this to cook and simmer while working on the more complex Korma at the same time.

The best part about this curry, was the fact my girlfriend and I both thought it tasted as good as the Vegetable Balti from our local restaurant. We ate half of it on our curry night and froze the rest in the hope of having it again one night soon! This I think, will become a regular home favourite with us.

Serves 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion , thickly sliced
1 large garlic clove , crushed
1 eating apple , peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
3 tbsp balti curry paste (we used Patak's)
1 medium butternut squash , peeled and cut into chunks
2 large carrots , thickly sliced
200g turnips , cut into chunks
1 medium cauliflower , weighing about 500g/1lb 2oz, broken into florets
400g can chopped tomatoes
425ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp chopped coriander , plus extra to serve
150g pot low-fat natural yogurt

1 Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion, garlic and apple and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the curry paste.

2 Tip the fresh vegetables into the pan and add the tomatoes and stock. Stir in 3 tbsp of the coriander. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to low, put the lid on and cook for half an hour.

3 Remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced a little. There should be some liquid remaining, but not too much. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Mix 1 tbsp of coriander into the yogurt to make a raita. Ladle the curry into bowls, drizzle over some raita and sprinkle with extra coriander. Serve with the remaining raita and warm mini naan breads.

Try different vegetables – shallots, broccoli, swede, sweet potatoes, peppers and mushrooms would go well together.

DSCF1442

Chicken Korma

DSCF1435

I thought it was about time to try a recipe from a fellow food blogger after a month of writing my own, so after coming across Back to the Chopping Board by James Brewer (after he came up with the Farewell Floyd Food Blogging Event), I noticed he was a man after my own heart and enjoyed a curry or two!

Having wanted to make a curry from the ground up for a very long time, I thought his Chicken Korma would be ideal to try as you get to make the paste as well. I believe the recipe is an adaption of a Jamie Oliver one from his Ministry of Food book. The pictures of the curry being made on James’ site made me want to have a go as part of a curry night I wanted to do.

After going through my spice cupboard, I realised I only needed to get a few extra bits, so popped to the shops to get a green chilli, some ground almonds and desiccated coconut, some fresh corriander, a tin of coconut milk and a pot of creme fraiche. This was going to be a cheap meal as well as fun to make! The only thing I didnt use from the original recipe was the chickpeas as I am not a great fan of them.

I got everything washed, chopped, cut, crushed and prepared, took my laptop into the kitchen (my printer had run out of ink, so I had no way of printing it off) and got to work cooking this recipe. At the same time as creating this dish, I also cooked a Vegetable Balti from the BBC Good Food site, as I wanted to make my life a little more difficult! I’ll write about that dish in another post.

This recipe was great fun to make and I would recommend it to anyone to try. Making the paste at the start was the best bit, rather than having to use a bought one. I was really pleased how it came out!

All I will say is, this is the best korma I have made, and even though there are some great sauces and pastes out there, nothing can beat making it yourself from the ground up. This is definately one I will be making again. It tasted delicious!

Korma Paste

2 cloves Garlic
Ginger, thumb-sized piece
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 tbsp Groundnut Oil
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 fresh Green Chilli
3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 tbsp Ground Almonds
Coriander, small bunch
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 Toast the cumin and coriander seeds together in a dry pan for a few minutes until they are golden. Remove from the heat and when cooled, grind them up in a pestle and mortar.

2 Peel the garlic and ginger and roughly chop.

3 Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste.

Chicken Korma

2 Large Chicken Breasts
2 Medium Onions
Ginger, thumb sized piece
Coriander, small bunch
Groundnut Oil
Butter, knob of
Korma Paste (see above)
1 x 400 ml tin Coconut Milk
2 heaped tbsp Desiccated Coconut
1 heaped tbsp Ground Almonds
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
4 tbsp Creme Fraiche

1 Firstly cut the chicken into cubes.

2 Peel and finely slice your onions, peel and finely chop the ginger, pick the coriander leaves and finally chop the stalks.

3 Put a large pan on a high heat, and add a few lugs of oil. Put the chicken into the pan and brown lightly on all sides for around 5 minutes, then remove from the pan.

4 Add the butter, onions, ginger and coriander stalks. Keep stirring it frequently to ensure none of it catches and burns, but turns golden evenly for around 10 mins.

5 Add the chicken back into the pan, and cook for another 2-3 mins.

6 Put in your Korma paste, stir well and cook for around 2-3 mins to help cook the rawness out.

7 Pour in your coconut milk, ground almond and desiccated coconut. Fill the empty coconut milk tin half with water and pour into the pan and give a good stir. Bring back to the boil, then turndown the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. Check the curry regularly to make sure it is not drying out – if it does add a little water.

8 When the chicken is tender, season with salt and pepper and stir through Creme Fraiche.

Serve with Pilau Rice and sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

Enjoy!

DSCF1432

DSCF1433

DSCF1441

DSCF1444