Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Scones

I love yummy home-made scones. The perfect scone should be nicely golden, with a nice bite and a lovely soft, light middle. The addition of raspberries and white chocolate is rather decadent. And perfect with a morning coffee.  

I made these as miniatures as I was serving them as part of an afternoon tea. But they work equally well as proper sized scones. You’ll just need to cook them for a bit longer.

I usually double this recipe as these freeze really really well. And you can just pop them in a hot oven for 5 mins before you serve them up again.

  

Ingredients: 

230g self-raising soda bread flour

60g butter, softened and cut into small cubes

60g caster sugar

145ml buttermilk

Handful of frozen raspberries, crumbled into small pieces

75g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces


Method:

• Pre-heat the oven to 200 Degrees Celsius

• Sieve the flour to get it all nicely full of air

• Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour – the mixture should look like breadcrumbs

• Stir in the sugar

• Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the buttermilk

• Stir in the milk and mix the dough

• Transfer the soft dough to a floured surface and roll out

• Sprinkle the raspberries and white chocolate over the dough

• Fold the dough in two and lightly roll to about 4cm thick

• Cut out small rounds and place on a lightly flour- dusted baking tray

• Pop in the oven and bake until golden brown. This will probably take about 20 minutes for mini scones and 30 minutes for larger scones

• Cool on a wire rack or enjoy warm with butter, jam and maybe even as little cream

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The Best Chocolatey Crispy Buns (Ever)

We had some afternoon tea style 1st birthday celebrations for the boys at the weekend. We feasted on delicate sandwiches, miniature raspberry and white chocolate scones and rose bellinis (adults only!). But no first birthday party would be complete without the humble crispy bun.

Forget the crispy buns of days gone by made with waxy cooking chocolate. These are gooey, nougaty, chocolately delights.  
  

They are moreishly delicious and really really really easy. Too easy. Here goes.

 
  

Ingredients:  

 6 standard (65g) Mars Bars  
200g Butter

200g Rice Crispies

250g Milk Chocolate

• Break up the milk chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl, over a saucepan of boiling water. Turn off the heat source and let it melt slowly. This means it won’t burn and you can get on with the bun making

• Chop up the Mars Bars and melt slowly in a heavy based saucepan, with the butter (you should stand and stir this mixture as it melts, it can burn quite easily and burnt Mars Bar doesn’t make for good buns!)

• Add the Rice Crispies and coat with the Mars Bar and butter mixture

• Press into a 20cm x 20cm tin ( If you want the buns to be less thick, you can use a 20cm x 30cm tin

• Cover with your now melted chocolate

• Let them set for 4-5 hours (not in the fridge) and then cut into chunks

Please hold back on judging my credentials as a proper foodie for posting a recipe for chocolate crispy buns until you taste these. 
**This recipe comes with a health warning. Only attempt these bad boys if you have a crowd to feed. You may otherwise consume an inordinate amount of calories**

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Prawn, Chilli and Lemon Penne

 This is one of my favourite everyday pasta dishes and I am seriously proud of it. Its quick and easy to make, it’s healthy and most importantly it’s really really tasty. I make it really frequently and I enjoy it every time. Once you’ve tried it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a firm favourite with your family too.

I’ve recently started my #MissionHealthyMum and I’m on the look out for new, healthy and nutritious recipes. So you can expect to see more healthy eats popping up here.  

Ingredients – Serves Two

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely

olive oil

250g punnet of baby plum tomatoes, chopped in half

splash of balsamic vinegar

175g raw tiger prawns

50g Parmesan, grated and a little extra to serve

2 handfuls rocket

Juice of 1 lemon

Freshly killed salt and black pepper

150g dried penne

  

Method:

• Prepare all the ingredients, as above

• Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions

• Fry the garlic and chilli for a minute in a little olive oil to release the flavours

• Add the tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar

• Cook for 5 minutes – the cherry tomatoes will start to break down and create a lovey tomato sauce

• Add the prawns to the tomato mixture and watch as they turn nice and pink. This will only take a few minutes

• Add a few spoonfuls of the pasta cooking water to the tomatoes and prawns to loosen the sauce

• Drain the pasta and add to the tomatoes and prawns

• Stir in the grated Parmesan and rocket

• Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the pasta and taste. Add more lemon juice if you fancy!

• Serve up and enjoy! (Preferably accompanied with a lovely crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc)

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I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays

Banana Breakfast Muffins

The boys weren’t eating well last week thanks to the teething demons and so I had a glut of bananas. I decided to make some banana breakfast muffins to use them up. They are are so quick and easy and are perfect for a weekend brekkie.  


Wet ingredients:

50g butter, melted
50g peanut butter, melted
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml milk
2 large ripe bananas, mashed

Dry ingredients:

250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
115g caster sugar

Topping:

Pine nuts, to decorate

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Degrees Celsius

2. Place muffin cases in a 12 hole muffin try

3. Prepare all of the wet ingredients and mix together in one bowl

4. Sift the flour and mix all the dry ingredient in another bowl

5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients

6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases

7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with pine nuts

8. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden

Perfect served with a steaming mug of coffee.

If you enjoyed this / found it useful, please share this post and maybe even tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.


I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays

Zesty Lime and Coconut Drizzle Cake

I love a traditional lemon drizzle cake but this weekend I had a few limes that needed to be used up so I thought I’d try something a bit different. I decided to try a lime and coconut drizzle cake, using a recipe I spotted on the Sainsbury’s online magazine. The addition of coconut to the cake batter really appealed to me. I thought the sweet, creaminess of the coconut would complement the lime perfectly. And it does.
The result was truly delightful. Unfortunately, I can’t upload a sniffometer to this post! If you could smell it cooking, you’d be nipping out to buy the ingredients straight away.
5 days later and it’s all gone. I think the ‘cake baking’ flare went up and I’ve had quite a few friends popping in for a coffee this week! It’s gone down really well with everyone – even with Mr C who claims to hate coconut! My mum was a bit disappointed to have missed it, so I’ll have to get another one made pronto.


So here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

125g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

250g caster sugar

zest of 3 limes

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

200g self-raising flour

50g desiccated coconut

150ml coconut milk

For the lime drizzle:

juice of 3 limes

100g caster sugar

How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C. Get the boring tin lining out of the way first – butter a 2lb/900g loaf tin that measures about 20cm x 9cm x 8cm deep, and line with a strip of baking paper to help remove the cake. ( If you are feeling lazy, I’ve just discovered you can buy packs of loaf tin liners that you simply set into the tin. I’ve bought some ready for the next bake!)

2. Using a hand held or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and lime zest until it’s light and creamy.


3. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, beating until fully combined before adding more.

4. Put the self raising flour and the desiccated coconut into a separate bowl and mix together. Add half of the flour and coconut mixture to the eggs and beat in well.

5. Then add the coconut milk and beat again until it is all combined. You can then fold in the remaining flour and coconut.

6. Put the cake mixture into the tin and pop into the oven. You’ll need to bake the loaf for approximately 45 mins or until golden on top. To check that it’s cooked through, you should insert a skewer into the cake and if cooked, it will come out clean.

7. To make the syrup for the top of the cake, put the lime juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.

8. Make holes all over the top of the cake using a skewer and then brush the sugar syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in. It may feel like a lot of syrup but the cake will have a lovely ‘zing’ when the zesty syrups soaks through it.

9. I removed the cake from the tin very quickly after brushing it with the syrup. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

10. Make yourself a coffee and enjoy a slice. It’s absolutely delicious.

11. Wrap the lime and coconut drizzle cake tightly in tinfoil and keep in an airtight tin to keep it as fresh as possible.

If you liked this recipe, let me know! Comment below, tweet me or post on my Facebook page.

I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays #FabFridayPost

Ethan & Evelyn

The Best Christmas Cake Recipe

I absolutely love Christmas Cake. Although up to now, I’ve never actually made my own. I’ve rather cheekily relied on being given a few slices of the amazing cake my Mum makes every year! Now that I’m at home with the twins and not in the office, I have lots of friends popping over for a cuppa. So it’s the perfect time to make my first Christmas Cake and share the Christmas Cake love!

I’ve been soaking the fruit in brandy for the last month but if you’re pushed for time, you could soak the fruit for just one or two weeks before you make it. If you start now (18th Nov) you could easily soak the fruit for a few weeks, make the cake and still have 3-4 weeks for the cake to mature.

The cake will be in the oven for about 4 hours so you need to make sure you use a good quality cake tin that will help ensure an even bake. I used a springform, non-stick tin from Lakeland.

Mr C and I stuck into cake making on Saturday and the house was filled with the most intoxicating Christmas aroma for the rest of the weekend. I can’t wait to make the first cut!

Fruit for soaking:  

280g/10oz sultanas

280g/10oz raisins

280g/10oz currants

175g/6oz glace cherries

175g/6oz mixed citrus peel

150ml/0.25 pint brandy or rum

2 tbsp sherry (optional)

2 tbsp orange juice (optional)

Cake Mixture:

225g/8oz self raising flour

85g/3oz ground almonds

1 heaped tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

225g/8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

225g/8oz dark muscovado sugar

6 eggs

zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon

Decoration:

2 tbsp apricot jam

225g/8oz bought or homemade marzipan

250g/9oz white ready-to-roll icing

silver balls and ribbon, to decorate

You will need:

A 20cm round cake tin, about 7-8cm deep

Greaseproof Paper for lining the tin

Food processor

Stand or hand held electric mixer

Lemon zester and juicer

Large mixing bowl

Christmas Ribbon to decorate

Silver Balls to decorate

Method:

1. Put the dried fruit and peel in a bowl and pour over the brandy or rum and sherry. (I prefer brandy). Mix well and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for at least a month. Stir the fruits every few weeks. If they look dry, add more booze or a splash of orange juice.

2. Start making the cake once the fruits are plump. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Butter a 20cm round cake tin – about 7-8 cm deep – and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. To protect the sides from burning, tie a double layer of greaseproof paper around the outside of the tin.

3. Blitz the soaked fruit mixture in three batches in a food processor, blitzing the final batch only lightly to keep some bite and texture to the fruit. Mix the flour, almonds and spices in a large bowl and stir in the fruits. Don’t worry if it’s hard to mix.


4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Stir into the fruit mixture bit by bit, along with the lemon zest and juice.

5. Tip the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Reduce the heat to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 and bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours (4 hours
in a gas oven). Take care it doesn’t overcook. Insert a skewer deep into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Cool slightly, remove from the tin, and cool on a wire rack.

6. Store in a double layer of greaseproof paper, wrapped in foil until ready to ice. You can store the cake for up to 3 months. Make sure you “feed” the cake by making skewer holes and pouring in brandy or rum every few weeks. Wrap up the cake tightly after every “feed”.

7. Brush the top of the cake with jam, roll out the marzipan to fit and place it on top. Roll out the icing to fit and place on top of the marzipan. Decorate with silver balls and ribbon.

I’m going to let my cake mature for a few weeks and once I get around to icing it, I’ll post another picture. Happy Christmas Cake Making.

Let me know how you get on and please share this recipe with your friends!

 

christmascake

I’m linking this post up with #MarvMondays

I’m linking this post up to the #FabFridayPost and #bakeoftheweek and #coolmumclub

Ethan & Evelyn

Casa Costello
Mummuddlingthrough

Easy Friday Food for Friends

I love tinkering about in the kitchen with a new recipe and enjoy getting friends together for some food and banter. Pre-babies, I was quite hospitable. But by the end of a busy day looking after the twins I’m just too tired to do the entertaining thing. But this week I bit the bullet and invited friends over on Friday night. Almost nine months into this parenting lark and we need to start socialising again!

I decided that I needed a casual menu that could be prepared over the course of a few days with minimal effort required on Friday night. Here’s what I came up with:

Ginger Chicken Curry

This is best made the day before, giving the flavours loads of time to develop. I managed to get it all made when the babies where having their morning nap – about 45 minutes. You can pop it in the fridge overnight and then just heat it through when you want it. It’s yummy, super healthy and really easy peasy!

Ingredients for 6 hungry diners

5cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 red chillis, de-seeded and finely diced

1tsp tumeric

1tsp cumin

1tsp mustard seeds

1tsp coriander

2 tbsp tikka masala paste

5 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

2 large bramley apples, peeled, cored + diced

4 medium onions, diced

1 carton tomato passata

500ml chicken stock

Fresh coriander, to serve

  • Fry the ginger, garlic and chilis in a little oil for 1 minute
  • Combine the dry herbs with a tablespoon of water and add to the pan for another 30 seconds
  • Add the tikka masala paste to the pan and fry for a further minute
  • Add the onion to the spices and fry until they soften
  • Add the apple and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the chicken and fry for a few minutes until it is sealed
  • Add the passata and chicken stock and bring the curry to the boil
  • Simmer the curry for 30 minutes, with the lid off to allow he sauce to thicken
  • Serve with basmati rice and/or naan bread

Apple, Coriander and Chilli Salad

 

It may sound odd serving a curry with a salad but believe me, they work really well together and it always goes down a treat with my friends. I think the origins of this salad came from a Jamie Oliver cookbook – he may not approve of serving it with a curry but I think the combination is inspired!

4 red eating apples, cored and halved and then sliced with the skin on

1 red chilli, de-seeded and diced

I-2 lemons, juiced

½ tsp sesame oil

Bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Handful cashew nuts, dry toasted and chopped

Combine all ingredients and pop in a pretty serving dish. You can adjust the amount of lemon juice to taste but just make sure all of your apple slices are well coated in lemon juice to avoid browning.

 Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

 

This is the perfect make ahead dessert – you can freeze it easily and just lift it out about 12 hrs before you want to serve it, defrosting it in the fridge. It’s also really yummy and very very easy to make.

Ingredients

6oz ginger biscuits, crushed finely

3oz butter, melted

1 can sweetened condensed milk

250ml jar whipping cream

3-4 limes, zested and juiced

  • Crush the biscuits until they are fine crumbs
  • Add the melted butter, combine and spread over the base of a loose bottomed 20cm flan dish
  • Cook at 180 degrees for 10 mins and allow to cool
  • Whip the cream lightly and gently combine with the sweetened condensed milk
  • Add the zest and juice of the limes slowly – taste as you go but make sure you add enough lime juice for a zesty kick
  • Once the base is cooled, add the creamy filling to the flan dish and put in the fridge to set
  • Decorate with fresh berries and a few sprigs of mint

Serve with an espresso on the side or a glass of dessert wine if you want to keep the party going!

This worked well for our first night back in the entertaining game – the only problem was the twins really didn’t play ball. They picked that night for teething to kick in with gusto and I think we spent more time in the nursery than at the table! Here’s to better luck next time!

What’s your experience of cooking for friends since babies have taken over your life?!

I’m linking this post up with #MarvMondays and #TastyTuesdays

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com